Egyptian Chronicles: March 2017

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Dead Man summit in the Dead sea

Earlier Wednesday, Jordan's Dead Sea witnessed the start of the 28th Arab summit and it was the perfect location for such annual farce.
It was really a Dead man's summit in the Dead Sea
Or like how Iyad El-Baghdadi described the summit
Dead men speaking in a dead summit of dead organization in the lowest place on this planet
Now here is a summary of the summit:
The  Prince of Kuwait slammed the Arab spring claiming that its revolutions brought terrorism and misery to the region
The old prince slept afterward during the speeches of other leaders.
Sleeping prince of Kuwait
The prince of Kuwait after attacking the Arab spring 
He was not alone as other leaders slept as usual in the summit.
Yemeni president Abdrabbuh Mansour El-Hady slept as if his country was suffering its worst crisis since the infamous Yemen wars in the 1960s.
Yemeni president
Yemeni President had a nap in the summit
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas aka Abu Mazen whose presidential term was over many years ago also had a nap. 
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Monday, March 27, 2017

Seen in Alexandria : Once again Stanley bridge

Location Stanley Bridge, Fleming, Qism Sidi Gabir, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt
Stanley Bridge

Seen in Alexandria: Once again the famous Stanley bridge at night.
It was built in the late 1990s over Stanley bay and became another landmark in the Mediterranean sea city after its inauguration in 2001
And a nice couple of photos for Stanley bridge after the break.

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

She knows Why the caged bird sings very well now

On Thursday, Egypt's Cairo criminal court set April 20 to declare its final verdict in the trial of Beladi Foundation, which is known in the media as "the case of Aya Hegazy".
Originally, the court set March 23 for its final verdict but decided to adjourn it to April 20 as it was waiting for "the technical experts' " report about the case.
The 29-years old and her husband Mohamed Hassanein as well the rest of defendants in the trial are accused of who are accused of human trafficking, kidnapping, and the sexual exploitation and torture of street children in Beladi Foundation.
It is worth to mention that according to official forensic reports in the case, the children did not suffer from any sexual abuse.
Just like in their previous session on February 14, Aya Hegazy and her husband Mohamed Hassenein's photos together in the court room's cage went viral like fire throughout the weekend.
You can see why they had gone viral.
The hug between Hassenein and Hegazy inside the cage
"By Mostafa Bassim Adly
Hasseinein and Hegazy in the cage
Hasseinein and Hegazy in the cage
"By Mostafa Bassim Adly"
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happy Mother Day Egyptian style

Happy Mother Day.
Today we celebrate the Mother Day in Egypt.
There is no better mother to remember on that special day than Isis.
The original and first mother of Egypt.
Ancient Egyptian Goddess Isis nursing Horus
A collection of Isis at the Egyptian museum in Cairo 

Happy mother day from Egyptian Chronicles to mothers around the globe and not only Egypt
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Monday, March 20, 2017

Psamtik "Not Ozymandias in Matareya

On Thursday, Egypt's minister of antiquities Khaled Al-Anany announced that the newly discovered parts of a colossus statue for an ancient Egyptian king in a North Cairo did not belong to King Ramses II as initially announced and believed.
The partial statue most probably belonged to 26-dynasty King Psamtik I, a less known pharaoh who actually did heroic things in his reign above them freeing Egypt from the Assyrian Empire and unifying it as well.
Prince Henrik of Denmark stands beside the colossus at Egyptian museum in Cairo "Reuters"
Prince Henrik of Denmark stands beside the colossus at Egyptian museum
in Cairo last Thursday "Reuters" 
The announcement puts an end of a very exciting Egyptian black comedy.
It started on 9 March when the ministry of antiquities announced that two newly discovered ancient Egyptian statues were unearthed by a joint Egyptian-German archaeological mission from a mud pit at a Cairo local market "Souq Al-Khamis".
"Souq Al-Khamis"  is located in populated working class Al-Matareya district, Ain Shams.
According to the first statement issued by the ministry, the two new "19th dynasty" royal statues were found in "parts" in the vicinity of King Ramses II temple dedicated to the God of the sun in ancient Heliopolis "Oun".
The statement described the first statue as an 80 cm tall bust of King Seti II carved in limestone with fine and clear facial features.
On the other hand, the second statue is actually a 8 meters long bust carved in the strong quartzite.
Lacking any engravings on that part bust identifying the statue's owner, the archeologists suggested it could be part of Ramses II's statue as it existed on what they believed to be Ramses II temple's entrance in the city of Oun. "Plus the late King loved having his statues everywhere"
The Egyptian team described the discovery as very important because it showed that the sun temple was enormous with many huge statues and obelisks.
The temple was damaged according to archeologists during the Greco-Roman and that many of its obelisks and colossi were transferred to Alexandria and Europe.
Also during the Islamic era, the blocks of the temple's remains were used in building Cairo in the tenth century.
The whole world went mad on that day and the foreign media spoke about the new discovery of "Ramses II statue " despite archeologists said that "it could be Ramses II" only and we found sensational headlines like "Ozymandias returns back in a Cairo slum".
Back in Cairo and its slums, it was something different because Egyptians were focusing on other things in that discovery for nearly four days other than the greatness of Ozymandias and how he ended up in ruins in a slum.

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Egypt's First woman governor : Do not be so happy

On Wednesday the world celebrated the International Women's Day worldwide and as the usual, our Egyptian media reminded us with all women's achievements especially in the time of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in a silly cold cliché.


Governor Nadia Abdou 
One of those achievements was in February when Nadia Abdou was appointed as the governor of Behaira governorate.
Abdou is the first woman to be appointed as a governor in the history of modern Egypt.

It is important thing indeed and the media is cheering up for the historical milestone.
As much as I know this is a historical thing but I can not get past the fact that Nadia Abdou was a member of Mubarak's former National Democratic Party "NDP" and that she won a seat in the People's Assembly in one of the most corrupted elections ever in 2010.
Abdou does not deny the fact that she was a member of the NDP. 

In fact, she claims that "three-quarters of Egypt" was NDPian during the Mubarak's role.
Either way, the NDPians are having a strong comeback whether in the parliament or government or media as we have seen lately.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Seen in Cairo : El-Botroseya Church's bells still ring after all

Location 417 Ramses, El-Abaseya El-Bahareya, Al Waili, Cairo Governorate, Egypt
El-Botroseya Church in Cairo

Seen in Cairo: El-Botroseya Church aka St.Peter and St.Paul Church's renovation continues as its bell rings in one fine March afternoon. The church was a target of a cowardly terrorist bombing by Daesh that killed more than 26 people, mostly from old women and children in early December.  Built in 1911, the church is located in the vicinity of Saint Mark's Coptic Orthodox Church, the seat of the Pope of the Orthodox Church.
Here is a video showing the church and its bells. 
Life goes on. 
May God bless the souls of the victims of the bombing and bring solace to their families and friends. May God have mercy on our souls. 
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Me and Ultras "Asmahan"

From Nine years ago, I was like millions of Egyptians who watched admirably the TV series " Asmahan" which was based on the short life of famous Syrian Singer "Asmahan".
Asmahan
Asmahan
Like any other talkative Egyptian who has an opinion about everything, I wrote a post about Asmahan and what I think about her based on the TV series and a couple of books as well articles I read.
Up till now I get comments, mostly angry comments with threats from Asmahan "Ultras" fans.
I used to comment back that this is my personal space and you can send back a post to defend your point of view so I can publish it.
I have received another angry comment calling me names in the past 48 hours and it made me think about what I wrote from 9 years ago.
I read the blog post on Friday and it is great to return back to read what I had written then and compared with what I think now.
I can admit easily that I was harsh in my first opinion about Asmahan which was based upon a couple of books and a TV series.
Asmahan's life was an enigma without a doubt.
Just like from 9 years ago, I would say that even if a young lady living in the West had a similar life, she would be a legend and a talk of the town till our day.
Just like from 9 years ago, I would say that she was a victim of a man's world starting from her father who abandoned her family in Cairo.
Even the books wrote about her either demonizing her or making her the Mother Teresa were written about men.

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

And the people demanded bread at first

Despite everybody was expecting something like this to happen but strangely when it happened on Wednesday, many were surprised.
Hundreds of Egyptians in several governorates protested because of the lack of subsidized breads in bakeries.
It started Tuesday afternoon in Alexandria when hundreds of protesters protested the decision of the supply ministry to reduce the quantity of subsidized bread quota to bakeries.
The protests were in Eastern and Western parts of Alexandria in the working class areas. The protesters began to catch attention when they blocked the famous tram track
In Alexandria: Protesters chant we want bread
They also blocked the train track.
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Monday, March 6, 2017

Kodak Agfa Presents : Fatima Haider's Palace of Alexandria

Location AZ Zahiriyyah, Al Mahrousah, Qism El-Raml, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt
There are lots of hidden gems in Egypt that even Egyptians do not know that they exist. Among those gems, a palace in a very quiet Upper-class Zezenia neighbor in Alexandria.
Not only that place is a hidden gem but it also hosts gems.
I paid it a visit last May while I was in Alexandria for a short visit. 
That place is Princess Fatima Haider's Palace that hosts a collection of the Mohamed Ali-Royal family's Jewelry.
Officially, that palace is called the Royal Jewelry Museum.
This post I am dedicated to the Palace itself and you will know why.
The Fatima Haider Palace seems just like any 1920s Neo-classical European style Palace from outside.
Fatima Haider's Palace' exterior
The Western wing of the Palace 
It is big as we are speaking about 4185 sq.m including the surrounding garden.
The Palace was originally commissioned by socialite Zeinab Fahmy, the wife of Prince Ali Haider in 1919 but she died leaving it to her daughter Fatima Al-Zahra Haider.
Princess Fatima Haider continued supervising the design and construction of that place adding her touch to the final design adding a Western wing to the original Palace.
The construction of that palace was finished in 1923 amazingly
According to some sources that the palace was designed by Mohamed Ali-Royal Family's favorite architect Antonio Lasciac while other sources say that famous architect Ali Pasha Fahmy whom I am going to speak about later.
I do not know which information is true.
The two-floor-palace is made of two wings, an Eastern and Western wing connected by a gallery of beautiful stained glass.
Fatima Haider's Palace's exterior
The gallery or the tunnel and its stained glass windows 
The kitchen and the Servants section are in the basement.
It was the summer residence for Princess Fatima Al-Zahra Haider who married Mohamed Bek Yaken in 1930.
Becoming a Museum
The re-inauguration plate from 2010 
The couple had two boys and one girl.
After the coup of 1952, Princess Fatima Al-Zahra's properties and possession were confiscated by the State aka nationalized.
Yet, She was allowed to live in that palace.
She lived there till 1964 when She gave it up to the Egyptian government.
Some sources say that the former Princess headed to Cairo where she lived until her death in 1983. while other sources say she lived in Marseilles, France until her death.
Since 1964 till 1986, the Palace joined the rest of the Royal palaces that became presidential palaces.
In 1986, ousted President Mubarak issued a presidential decree designating the Fatima Haider's Palace into a museum in Alexandria hosting a collection of Mohamed Ali-Royal Family jewelry in Alexandria.
The Palace was renovated twice in 1986 and 1994 in a horrible way.
 In late 2004, Egypt's ministry of antiquities started to renovate the palace in a proper way.
The cost of that renovation as well correcting the mistakes of previous renovations reached LE 10 Million.
The renovation finished and it was reopened once again in 2010.
But like a diamond in the rough, it has not caught enough attention.

Now, this museum contains a collection of Jewelry and other valuable possessions that once owned by the members of Mohamed Ali-Royal family that ruled Egypt from 1805 till 1952.
According to the official information, there are 11,500 pieces or artifacts owned by the former ruling royal family in the museum.
I will dedicate a separate post for the Jewelry of Mohamed Ali-Royal Family but I will just say that this collection at the museum represents a very small percentage of the true Jewelry and Jewels owned by the Egyptian Royal family.

The entrance is from the East wing that leads directly to one of the main halls where you start to see the amazing collection of Jewelry.
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Saturday, March 4, 2017

The expected final acquittal of Mubarak

On Thursday, Cairo court of Cassation officially acquitted ousted President Mubarak in the final stage of his retrial for killing the protesters during the 18 days of the January revolution.
The verdict of the cassation court can be appealed and thus the 88-years-old ousted president is off the hook when it comes to the killing of the protesters.
This case or rather trial since its start in 2011 seemed to be a farce as the prosecutor general gathered a very poor case to stand in the court especially in the retrial.
The court of cassation has not issued its reasoning on why it acquitted him but his defense team is saying that Habib El-Adly and his aides involved in the case were acquitted and thus it was logical for the court to acquit him.
Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak transferred to court from Maadi military hospital
 to court on Thursday by a helicopter (AP/Amr Nabil)
Now a quick timeline to Mubarak's trial involving the killing of the protesters in the 18 days of the January revolution aka the trial of the century.
In June 2012, the Criminal court sentenced Mubarak to a life sentence in jail for giving the orders to kill the protesters during the 18 days of the January revolution.
In January 2013, the Court of Cassation overturned the conviction and ordered a retrial for Mubarak and Adly as well the rest of the defendants.
In November 2014 the Criminal court acquitted Mubarak and the co-defendants in the retrial reasoning the prosecution initial decision to refer Mubarak to court in 2011 lacked the legal basis.
On Thursday, the court of Cassation rejected the appeal of prosecution and upheld the acquittal of Mubarak.
If you look carefully to the dates, you will know the stages of the January revolution itself.
According to journalists who covered the "trial of the century" that no one is following carefully as before, the prosecution's evidence presented to the court in retrial was weak, too weak to stand in any court.
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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Seen in Alexandria : Old Bahary Buildings "3"

Location Qesm Al Gomrok, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt
Buildings of Alexandria

Still with Alexandria's beautiful old buildings in Bahary quarter.
I am not an expert in architecture but I think that building is based upon the Art Deco style.
Anyhow it is beautiful and I hope it remains as much as it can. I wish there is more care for Bahary quarter old buildings in Downtown Cairo right now.
Check more photos of the famous city here. 
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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Seen in Alexandria : Old Bahary Buildings "2"

Location Qesm Al Gomrok, Alexandria Governorate, Egypt
Alexandrian Buildings

In the famous Bahary quarter of Alexandria, the old European Neo-classical style buildings stand as an old memory of the once cosmopolitan nature of the famous city.
Take in May 2016
Check more photos of the famous city here. 
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